Juul took a page from Big Tobacco to change steam


By the time Juul co-creator stood in front of a high-tech audience in April 2016, ads for the electronic cigarette aimed to remove the product from toxic past: “Our company's roots are in Silicon Valley, not in tobacco fields.”

But when James Monsees, an early billionaire, earned a 30 year old tobacco documentary on the screen behind him, he bite it. It was an internal memo from research conducted by R.J. Reynolds, manufacturer of Camel cigarettes. It was stamped “SECRET.”

“We also had another leg,” said Monsees.

A review by Los Angeles Times of more than 3,000 pages of Juul's internal records, received by the Food and Drug Administration and released to a researcher through the Freedom of Information Act, found that the concept behind the formula that makes it Juul usable and addictive back four decades – to Reynolds laboratories.

The main ingredient: nicotine salts.

Juul salts in previous e-cigarettes contain up to three times the nicotine content. They use mitigating chemicals to let people take deeper drags without their throat to vomit or burn. And based on research carried out by the tobacco companies, Juul claimed that they were leaving behind.

In addition to the internal documents, The Times consulted more than a dozen tobacco researchers, policy experts and historians, and reviewed publicly available patent applications and videos by Juul founders discussing their product with last decade. t One of these videos was taken from YouTube.

Together, the evidence shows that Silicon Valley has begun to “discourage” the Great Tobacco even when it changed it, involving the technical savvy of the launch industry of the 21st century. nicotine arms race.


In this April 2016 video screening, which was recently taken from YouTube, co-founder of Juul, James Monsees, adds R.J. Reynolds research stamp stamping “SECRET.”


In numerous conversations with the Times, Juul did not directly engage with assurances that the company had accepted the industry it sought. A spokesman for Juul admitted that the product "mimicked" the nicotine experience of any traditional cigarette, but explained that the formula was designed in that way to the desire of adult smokers, rather than children, to be satisfied.

“We have never made our product to appeal to the youth and we do not want to one Non-nicotine users to try our products, ”said a spokesman for Juul in a statement with The Times. “We are working to urgently address the use of underage steam products, including Juul products, and gain the confidence of regulators, policymakers and other stakeholders.”

After widespread lobbying by the evaporative industry and its allies, President Trump lost this month the deadline he banned steam flavors, despite public complaints being overwhelmingly attractive to teenagers, and it is not clear now whether the administration will t no action. On Monday, California Atty. Gen Xavier Becerra and Los Angeles officials announced a procedure against Juul, alleging that he was engaged in deception practices with child-friendly advertising and had not issued health warnings.

But a new generation of nicotine addicts has already been established, and health experts warn that millions of teenagers who currently make vape may go to other products. like cigarettes to arrange for it.

“Reynolds succeeded in the engineering of this formula, but Juul was the culmination of the biggest ever – and ever major Tobacco product,” said Robert Jackler, a Stanford University researcher on e- use. teenage cigarettes. t “They studied Reynolds literature, they used it, and surrendered a new generation of American youth.” T

Making nicotine more enjoyable

In February 1973, a researcher at Reynolds saw a hazard: Although cigarettes were widespread in cigarettes, they would not become “products” among young people.

In the case of a teenager, the physical effects of smoking were “really really unpleasant,” now deceased Claude E. Teague Jr, in a confidential message memo.

“Actually, if our company is to survive and prosper, in the long term, we need to get our youth market share,” he wrote. “There is certainly nothing immoral or unethical about our company trying to attract smokers.”

Reynolds was known for two decades caused the cancer product. Still, one of the company's leading researchers, Frank G. Colby, biased a design made late in 1973 which would provide a “larger segment of the youth market” by packing “more” or “kicks” (nicotine packing) and mitigating the hard effect of the chemical on young people's throat tobacco.

Through nicotine, the addictive chemical boost, the company could generate more rapid and intense addiction among the youngest clients, and get decades of business. But it was an important challenge to make nicotine acceptable: The chemical was used as an insecticide from colonial time, and Robert Proctor, Stanford's cigarette historian, may have three lethal tongues of the language. People could not inhale large doses without vomiting.

Ultimately scientists got Reynolds solution: Put the high-pH nicotine with low-pH acid together. This resulted in a neutralized compound called salt – nicotine salt.

To achieve this technique, the company enlisted one of its chemists, Thomas Perfetti, a 25-year-old man with a newly minimized PhD.

Perfetti managed to go to work a six-month investigation into nicotine salts. According to his laboratory notes, he drew round-round flasks of various acids, and then added nicotine, and watched it as the ingredients that are condensed in thick yellow oils. Each one had no smell but one, he wrote, which focused on “green apples”.

Perfetti synthesized 30 different nicotine salt concoction, then heated them – as would smoking – in search of “maximum nicotine release.” He also tested the ability of dissolved salts in liquid – a characteristic that could occur for many years followed by steam products like Juul.

On January 18, 1979, Perfetti donated a 17 page championship report. t. The results "CONVENTION" were stamped.

Reynolds Investigation

R.J. The Reynolds “CONFIDENTIAL” investigation was found among the documents received by the FDA from Juul in 2018.

(UCSF Tobacco Industry Truth Document Database).

Ten years later, Reynolds was awarded a patent for her salts, and Perfetti's name was listed in three inventors. Perfetti will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tobacco Science Research Conference.

Perfetti, who has since retired from the company, confirmed his research details to The Times in LinkedIn's message, but refused to comment further.

Kaelan Hollon, a spokesman for Reynolds, told the Times that the research on nicotine salts was carried out as the company aimed to “reduce” the risks associated with smoking while maintaining nicotine delivery. The salts were patented, not used in a traditional Reynolds cigarette, she said.

Premier - The smokeless cigarette.

Premier. R.J brought in the heat-burning cigarette soon. Reynolds.

(Fairfax Media)

By the same time, in 1988, Reynolds introduced one of the first aerosol cigarettes: Premier. After five months, it was withdrawn from the market due to low sales, records show.

“It delayed me the rest of the day,” one distributor of tobacco The Times said in 1989, saying he was selling thousands of aerosol cigarettes to Reynolds back.

At the time, the company had another obstacle to using its new research: the horror of the FDA for the health experts called “attractive” worn. In 1998, Reynolds agreed, together with three other companies, to start paying billions of dollars to compensate states for which they knowingly drove a tobacco epidemic, which resulted in approximately 20 million Americans dying as a result. According to Proctor, about 4 million killed on Reynolds cigarettes Camel.

Within this climate, the company was unable to combine two technical triumphs – phalatable salts and early-vapor equipment.

“Reynolds managed to develop the technology, but never succeeded in making great progress,” said Matthew Myers, president of the Tobacco Free Campaign in Washington, D.C.

"Juul did that."

Úil Addiction is central to the business model '


In this video, which is available on YouTube, James Monsees and Adam Bowen, then product design students at Stanford University, present their graduates thesis in 2005. The vaporizer, called Ploom, changed into a Pax, and in 2015, Juul.


In June 2005, two product design students at Stanford presented to a classroom to present their postgraduate thesis entitled “The Reasonable Future of Smoking”.

As the lights decreased, students, Adam Bowen and Monsees, projected an image on a man-made screen that began an early vape pen prototype – a precursor to Juul.

A video of the event shows that the two students are giving their viewers for 17 minutes on a device called Ploom, a vaporizer that would provide a “far more effective way to release nicotine.” They showed the traditional cigarette stigma – using a cartoon South Park clip which gave a “Dirty Lung” and “Breath”. “They were like their nicotine pods to Nespresso cartridges that were“ hit a great deal in Europe ”.

“We can take tobacco back to luxury – and not a sort of drug delivery device,” said Bowen, who became co-founder and chief technology officer of Juul.

Monsees said that before designing their own, the two had scrutinized the research behind the Reynolds failure model. He predicted an insight into chemistry charts from the company's internal records.

“They have said they are killing their own client base, so they have already joined a billion billion dollars,” said Monsees.

Juul founders

Adam Bowen, and James Monsees, co-founders of Juul, left in 2018.

(Francois Guillot / Getty Images)

When Bowen clicked on the final slide, playing video started: A man who was engaged in a video camera lens gave a reference, tackling the vaporizer prototype in his hand.

“This product is the biggest thing I have ever experienced in my life,” he said. “This will help me with enthusiasm, and I will develop like a nicotine that I will follow until my grave.” T

The class met with a smile and broke down, sending Monsees and Bowen into ten years of product development. The Ploom device entered the market and could progress to Pax, and in 2015, Juul.

Juul reception system

Juul freight system with accessory pods.

(Washington Post)

TEDx monasteries used to talk in Brussels to try to “discourage” smoking, and used Juul early ads to drum beat to ensure consumers: “We spent everything on we know about cigarettes. ”

Juul's records show the start-up research carried out by nicotine-based tobacco experts – the use of salts to control ministry, a former top scientist by Reynolds, as well as methods of maximizing nicotine delivery, and nicotine impact literature accumulations. on juvenile brains.

“The nicotine salt chemistry was certainly one of the big ones,” said John said staged at the 2018 technology start-up conference Disrupt.

Three days before Christmas in 2015, maker Juul, Pax Labs, made his own nicotine salt prescription patented – referring to US. Patent 4,830,028A, Reynolds salts since 1989.

On page 15 of the patent, Pax said he had received “unexpected” “effective transfer of nicotine to an individual's lungs and a rapid increase in the absorption of nicotine in the blood plasma (blood).” The company's patent use to display graphics that their impact exceeded the effects at Mall Mall – Reynolds cigarette which is very popular – as blood nicotine levels disappeared significantly, it fell almost half within 15 minutes.

The compound would later come into trade: JUULSALTS ™.

“Addiction is central to the business model,” said David Kessler, a pediatrician who led the FDA from 1990 to 1997, during the agency's tobacco investigation. “With the nicotine salt, Juul has found the Holy Grail.”

In response, Juul did not engage directly with this accusation, but said that its product offered “millions of smokers who die every year from cigarettes as an opportunity for public and commercial health of historical proportions”.

The patent also described the role of pH neutralization acids in the formula – including at least four of the chemical compounds created by Perfetti in the Reynolds laboratory 37 years previously.

And included in the deposit of files received by the FDA from Juul a copy of the secret investigation of Reynolds nicotine.

Monsees and Bowen did not respond to numerous requests for comments.

Juul spokesman said: “RJ Reynolds' old work was widely known in the field of traditional burn cigarettes, noting that Juul continued routine exposure procedures such as Reynolds patents and publications, as required by the US Patent Office.

The spokesman also said that research shows that nicotine is absorbed more slowly from Juul pods than traditional cigarettes.

Before Juul, 1% to 3% nicotine in most evaporative fluids, which reported that they were “high” and were intended for smokers two packets per day, according to Jackler, Stanford researcher. Juul offers pods containing nicotine 5%, according to the company's website.

Juul made a dispute about Jackler's characterization, saying that nicotine was concentrated higher in other brands, and said there were allegations that two or three times plenty of cigarette pods were “false”.

From 2016 to 2017, Juul sales exceeded 640%. The cartridges were so fashionable that teenagers sometimes wanted to finish each other to inhale them. Many said that they did not know that the pods contained nicotine. In each 5% cartridge there was a nicotine equivalent of about 20 cigarettes.

“Juul recounts the bad spirit of the cigarette – but it makes it even better,” said Myers, president of Kids Free-Tobacco. “They pulled him out without any of the historic luggage, which made it quite attractive that he was safe.” T

Acceptance of teenagers

Its main school displays show steam devices confiscated from students in Massachusetts in 2018.

(Steven Senne / Associated Press)

Anne Schuchat, deputy director of the Federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told Congress during a hearing in September that doctors believe that nicotine salts can “trap the brain barrier and have a greater impact. to have more of brain development in young people. ”

In a statement by The Times, Schochat, she expressed concern and said that salts allow for higher levels of nicotine more easily and with fewer comics than in previous e-cigarettes, and that they could enable nicotine dependence among them. the youth.

Anne Schuchat

Anne Schuchat, lead deputy director of Disease Control and Prevention Centers, precedes nicotine salts.

(Images Zach Gibson / Getty)

On April 24, 2018, the FDA ordered Juul will submit documents relating to its product design and marketing practices following reports of rampant use among adolescents who may not have understood the effects of Juul's debug on the brain.

Later that year, FDA agents came to Juul and headquarters seized additional records. Less than 10% of the requested documents, including Perfetti laboratory records, are issued by a researcher at a researcher in UC San Francisco. The agency said it held back the other files to protect trade secrets and other material. So in these records only an insight into the chemical research Juul kept on hand as the company designed a product.

Today, Juul comprises about two-thirds of the steam market.

In 2018, the largest tobacco company in the United States, Altria – parent company Philip Morris USA, purchased Marlboro cigarettes – a 35% share in Juul.

After the purchase, some of the company's employees started smoking at Juul: head of Altria's regulatory affairs, Joe Murillo, as well as senior scientists and sales managers.

In September, KC, former senior growth officer of Altria. Crosthwaite, CEO of Juul was made.


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